Once again I have campaigned for Ron Paul. Once again I went to vote in the Pennsylvania primary. Once again I got screwed.
In 2008 I tried voting in the primary. They turned me away because they had me registered as a democrat, even though I know I registered as a republican. They gave me a provisional ballot and sent me home disgusted. This year I vowed I would vote.
I recently moved into the city. I got a new ID, and changed my registration at the same time. Unfortunately this still had my old information, and I didn’t know I had to re-register once I moved, even though I just did it days before moving. I also thought the polls closed at 09:00 PM, when in fact they closed at 08:00 PM. To top it off, our area has several polling places, and the one closest to us would not let me vote there. All of these things added up to another disappointment.
My brother offered to take me to the polling place since I didn’t know where to go. We arrived at a school auditorium and saw some people. They did not have me in “the book” since I had not re-registered, but said I could fill out a provisional ballot. At this point I would settle for anything. I just wanted to have my vote count. Meanwhile, they turned away an independent because he did not register republican. At least I got that part right.
A lady courteously gave us a provisional ballot and a form to update my registration for the election in November. My brother started filling it out for me. Suddenly another woman came over and angrily told us that I could not vote here. Apparently I had to go to another location. They would not even accept my provisional ballot. She then informed us that the polls close at eight o’clock moments before the time. I could do nothing.
I asked if I could fill out something, anything, to vote. She sternly told me no, repeatedly shooting down any attempt I made. They wouldn’t even give me an absentee ballot. I felt disgusted, like they wanted to make it as difficult for me to vote as possible.
I know I made mistakes. I got the wrong location, the wrong closing time, and hadn’t properly registered. I should have gone earlier, but spent the day doing some exciting things, including an interview on KPFK about iPhone accessibility. Still, I feel they should have at least tried to accommodate me. Like really? You can’t give me any way to vote? My brother promised to give me some of the background on these people, I can’t wait to hear this.
Statistically speaking, would my one vote have made a difference? Probably not. CNN has already projected Romney as the winner with 56% of the vote with 20% reporting. It looks like Ron Paul will finish third. And now that I think about it, how can Santorum finish second? Didn’t he drop out?
Oh well. Politics suck. The woman said: There’s always November. Not at this rate. Ron Paul will have to run third party if he wants any hope of victory.